Bed bugs are everywhere and are one of the most stubborn pests to deal with. Hotel pest control has its own set of unique challenges due to a large number of rooms and traffic creating numerous potential hiding spots and areas for bed bugs to spread in and explore.
These pests not only put the health of guests and staff at risk but can also permanently harm the hotel’s reputation. However, with early detection and a strategic approach, they can be eliminated for good.
91% of hospitality facilities are worried about the impact of bed bug infestations. (The Bantham Group)
Here are 4 tips to help you deal with the pests:
1. Educate Your Staff
You are your best defense for bed bug prevention in the hotel. The first and foremost step that you should take is to educate yourself on how to find bed bugs and the best practices to follow to keep those stubborn pests away from your rooms and guests. Your staff must be attentive at all times and look out for the following signs:
Reddish or rust-colored stains that resemble dried blood on mattresses or bed sheets. These occur because the bed bugs are crushed while they are feeding or if they have recently fed.
Small eggshells or eggs in the bedding and skins cast off by the nymphs as they grow. The eggs are around 1 millimeter in size, and the skins shed by nymphs are usually of a tan shade or pale yellow in color.
Groups of tiny dark spots that smear when they are wiped with a wet rag. This is bed bug fecal matter and is generally dark brown or black in color.
Live bed bugs, which are wingless, flat, and oval-shaped creatures. They are usually brown in color but may appear reddish if they have recently fed. The nymphs are paler and smaller and the fully grown adults range from 4 to 5 millimeters in size.
2. Carry out Proper Documentation
Proper documentation is of utmost importance. Reports regarding customer complaints, inspections, and the treatments carried out help the concerned department tackle a bed bug infestation effectively. Just as early detection is essential, proper documentation is also crucial. You should keep a log of previous incidences of infestation and track the occurrence and areas that are frequently infected. This helps you chart a clear strategy to eliminate bed bugs.
3. Take Appropriate Preventive Action
The next step is the planned prevention. If a bed bug infestation is ignored for too long, it becomes more difficult to eliminate them because of their ability to harbor in hard-to-reach areas and how quickly they breed and spread. Sealing the areas that are prone to infestation is important. For instance, use sealed mattress and pillow casements. If your hotel is prone to bed bug infestations, it is important to consider using a preventative system or service; however many bed bugs have recently become immune to the harsh preventatives offered by many exterminators.
4. Employ Effective Elimination Methods
When it comes to bed bug extermination, vacuuming, freezing and steam heat are some of the most effective treatments alongside continual use of a preventative or residual spray.
All the headboards, seams, and other potential hiding places should be carefully vacuumed. Bed bugs generally hide within 5 feet of the bed. Once done, check all of the vacuum brushes to ensure that no pests are caught in the roller and place the vacuum bag in a securely sealed bag before disposing of. Freezing the bedding, pillow, and bed covers in extreme cold for 48 to 72 hours can help eliminate these pests. Professional bed bug exterminators use carbon dioxide under pressure to eliminate bed bugs but many exterminators use products that can be harmful to humans as well and can require 48 to 72 hours to become safe again. Steam heating is another effective method. Remove all the infected bedding items and covers and send them for a steam wash or replace them entirely. This not only helps you get rid of the bed bugs, but their larvae, pupa, and other small bugs also are eliminated.
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